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Monday, August 1


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#1 dirac

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:26 AM

Reviews of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet.

The Financial Times

About the succeeding Firebird and Scheherazade, my opening sentence is comment enough. Both were made by Fokine for the Ballets Russes in those first dazzling seasons. Their success, their allure, and a whiff of Arabian Nights naughtiness guaranteed them tremendous box-office appeal. They survived after Diaghilev as spectres of their former selves, and today, frankly, they are almost unrecognisable. Their performance style is long lost. I saw late Diaghilev artists and immediately post-Diaghilev Ballets Russes performers trying to knock artistic sense into them, without denting their unlikeliness. What the Mariinsky troupe offers is also unlikely, but redeemed (up to a point) by the grand gifts of their casts and by tremendous performance from the Mariinsky orchestra under Boris Gruzin.


The Telegraph

The Mariinsky Ballet’s tribute to the great Russian choreographer Mikhail Fokine (1880-1942) is a multifarious, multicoloured delight. It embraces a trio of entirely diverse pieces with which Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes – in fact, a rebellious breakaway troupe from the great St Petersburg company – first bewitched Parisian audiences in 1909-10 (even if one of them, Chopiniana, was premiered by the Mariinsky itself in 1908). And on Friday night, at Covent Garden, the visitors did all three proud.


The Evening Standard

....One of his earliest and most enduring is The Firebird, easily the highlight of the triple bill the Mariinsky danced over the weekend. Some of the current costumes are less strong but Stravinsky's iconic music, commissioned in 1910, is still shimmeringly new, as is Fokine's choreography and narrative drive that clearly tells the story of the Firebird's capture by Ivan, and her skilfully slipping his clutches by trading one of her protective feathers for her freedom.

Ekaterina Kondaurova as the Firebird dominated the performance. Her nimble, darting style and sustained characterisation exactly captured the Firebird's fearsome independence. There was almost a Carmen quality to her longing to be free.



#2 dirac

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:29 AM

Students of the Australian Ballet School take "Don Quixote" on tour.

Donnelly is one of five Australian Ballet guest artists appearing in Don Quixote, which is the touring production for 26 students graduating from the Australian Ballet School this year.

The role of the title character, an eccentric Spanish grandee who visits the seaside town while searching for the woman of his dreams, Lady Dulcinea, is played by Simon Dow, a former artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet in the United States and the West Australian Ballet.



#3 dirac

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:31 AM

A look at the career of Lucinda Dunn by Deborah Jones in The Australian.

Dunn has, uniquely in the annals of the AB, been able to show this process at work for two decades. In another country she would be well known outside the ballet world. One thinks of former Royal Ballet superstar Darcey Bussell, now retired and living in Sydney, who was widely loved in Britain. But the AB hasn't really ever wanted to promote individuals at the expense of the company, and culture unfortunately doesn't have quite the same place in Australian society as elsewhere.

It was fascinating to see Dunn on tour with the AB in Tokyo in 2007. She danced Aurora in Stanton Welch's version of Sleeping Beauty and was greeted with tumultuous enthusiasm by the Tokyo audience.



#4 dirac

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:32 AM

A story on the critical reception of the Royal New Zealand Ballet during its U.K. visit.

Audiences and reviewers alike particularly embraced the opportunity to see former RNZB dancer Andrew Simmons present his piece A Song in the Dark.

Critics also commended the eclectic choice of repertoire and the strength of the dancers. Many noted that when Ethan Stiefel takes over as Artistic Director in September he will find "a polished and versatile company." (The Sunday Times)



#5 dirac

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:33 AM

An item on Ballet Manila's U.K. tour from GMA News Online.

Led by artistic director and prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, the 30-member dance troupe presented classical, contemporary and Filipino ballet pieces to a varied audience.

The Philippine Embassy in London invited British parliamentarians, officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment agency, and members of the Diplomatic Corps in London.



#6 dirac

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:35 AM

A Q&A with Twyla Tharp by Howard Poulson in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Q: But are you pleased that it's gone as well as it has?
A: I don't make those judgments, OK? I have a very long career. I have a broad spectrum of work. For me, it's always about doing, like I keep saying, the best I can do on what I'm working on and thinking forward into the future and how things fit together. I'm on top of my 50th anniversary of work, which is 2015, and to me work ... is about evolving one's options, [increasing the] depth. That's what my job is.

Q: So how is your work on the Atlanta Ballet commission coming along?
A: Very positively. It's a wonderful working situation and I think we're all very, very enthusiastic about the materials [the dance is inspired by children's stories of Scottish author George MacDonald, set to Franz Schubert music] at hand -- the company, the new score, the scenic elements that are going to be worked in.



#7 dirac

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:37 AM

Nataliya Miroshnyk of the Moscow Ballet will be teaching classes in Galesburg, Illinois.

Nataliya Miroshnyk, who is best known for dancing the Chinese variation in Act II of “The Great Russian Nutcracker,” will teach two, 2-hour classes each day to about 40 pre-pointe and en pointe students. She has been a soloist with the Moscow Ballet for more than five years and also is an audition director who travels across North America auditioning and training young dancers to perform with the professionals in “The Great Russian Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake” and “Romeo and Juliet.”



#8 dirac

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:40 AM

The Tsekh dance troupe of Moscow receives instruction on dancing Forsythe from visiting teacher Thomas McManus. Video.

Thomas’s class is not only dance practice. He encourages dance-thinking among his students and includes watching movies, discussing difficulties, feelings and new types of moves in his classes. This method is just the opposite of what Russian dance schools are used to. Asya Belaya tells us that she has been eager to learn William Forsythe’s method for years:

“Many Russian teachers said ‘your legs are not so open’. Yes, my joints are not so flexible. But Thomas speaks about how to make classical dance not so ‘closed’ and not so hurtful for you.”



#9 dirac

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:43 AM

A review of the Paris Opera Ballet by Patricia Boccadoro for Culturekiosque.

The programme claims the British choreographer attempted to "shed light on the forces of life and death alike that run through Bacon’s paintings". And while this might be a laudable goal in itself, it failed. If one had not read about the piece beforehand, the work itself gives little indication of what it is about and neither is the audience helped along by the scenery. John Pawson’s minimalist and disappointing decor, giant- sized black and white panels dominating the Opera Bastille’s stage, bore no correlation to Bacon’s vision.

L’Anatomie de la Sensation, which is composed of eight movements, began with a duo between Mathias Heymann and Jerémie Belingard set to a score by Mark Antony Turnage entitled, Blood on the Floor, after Bacon’s painting of the same name. This is the closest we get to Bacon, as the two brilliant interpreters, divesting themselves of their clothes, their young, muscled bodies clad in shorts, began a complex series of movements, rotating, gyrating, spinning and rolling around each other.....



#10 Helene

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:06 AM

Thanks to a heads up! by a BAer:

An article on Suzanne Farrell Ballet in the August/September issue of Pointe Magazine:

A Company Of Her Own

The mission, because of my special relationship with Mr. Balanchine, is to preserve his integrity and his ballets,” Farrell explains. “It’s not enough to do Mr. B’s steps if you don’t have his philosophy and his values.”

And what are those values? “The dancers always take class,” she says. “They listen. They are dedicated. They never mark.” In dealing with the budget constraints of today’s economy, Farrell recalls the practical side of Balanchine. “Mr. B said, ‘If you don’t have ornate costumes, do it in practice clothes. If you don’t have this, then do that.’ I run the company on that kind of model.”




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